Friday, October 31, 2008

Fat Guys are Always so Animated

"Are you struggling with body fat?" I hear this all the time on commercials, with miracle cures and potent pills that might lose me some weight, but it'll be because I'm spending all my time in the restrooms, not the restaurants. So I got to thinking. What are the reasons one diets and exercises to lose weight.

Valid Reason: The immediate health of the person. Sure, my ankles hurt, especially when I go up stairs and climb a bunch of ladders...etc... And I don't expect to be running miles, or trying to outrun a bear (and lets face it, in olden times, one reason why being fit was important was so if you did meet up with said bear, you might live). So if immediate discomfort was enough to make me lose weight, I'd do it.

Invalid reasons:

You'll look better, you'll be able to date, you'll be able to get a better job...etc... cosmetically, for some reason, the more muscle and the leaner you are, the more attractive you seem to be. This is a biological trait, probably going back to pre-historic times, that the ones that were strongest, could outrun said bears, and could run miles, would be the ones that ended up copulating with the women. But if you look at it now, being successful doesn't mean running miles or lifting hundreds of pounds every day (although it might help.) The saying "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder," certainly applies to this. There are cultures that have existed where fat was considered a label of royalty and luxury, where people who could get fat were admired as people with money (thus to get food) and happiness (quoth Julius Caesar, "I would have about me men that are fat, for they are happy. Lean men have a dangerous look" (paraphrased from my memory)). And certainly, if those cultures existed today, they would look upon the USA as a land of luxury and royalty, because we are all* chubby.

And the aliens that pick up our broadcasts will see that the fat, lazy father is truly head of the household. Especially when it comes to animated TV shows. Homer Simpson, Peter Griffin, and in real TV, Rosanne's husband, each were very lovable characters, loved by their wives, and able to be drawn naked (well, except for on Rosanne) because their stomachs hid certain private parts. :) So the aliens will interpret that those who are overweight are masters of their universes. And so they should be. It is the attitude taken up by my cat (who is female), who is big in stature, smug in outlook, and master of her domain.

"But you want to live a long time, right?" Well, it depends on how long you think a long time is. How old is old? 60? 70? 50? Is living half a century enough time to do what you need to do? Would it be better, living a long time, being disciplined about diet and constantly worrying about health, and generally unhappy, or is it better to live an Epicurean life, shorter, but happier? To taste the cheese, the chocolate, and the wine (except I don't drink). As Mark Lowry said, "There are two ways to go, cholesterol and worry, and cholesterol's so much more fun." I agree with him. So, for me, it's not a matter how long I live, but how much enjoyment I get out of the years I do live.

I've seen old people, living with no heat or air conditioning, drinking powdered milk and crusts of bread. And not because they can't afford the food, but for some reason they insist on living that way. I can't do that. Give me the heater (which will one day catch my house on fire, but it makes my feet nice and toasty), and my air conditioner (which is why I have the heater on), and my Hot Pockets, and I shall spend my money to make me comfortable, cause I'm not going to take it with me, and I don't think there will be anyone to leave it to.

It's not a depressing or pessimistic attitude, it's just looking realistically about life. And if you look at TV shows, it's very obvious that fat guys are happy. I would much rather be fat and happy than lean and miserable. Give me the cheesecake, and the ice cream, and the pizza, and I will laugh at the people running in the park when it's 20 degrees outside. And they, with all their muscles, can lift my coffin. They're going to need them.

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